“K Street and Tea Party again fight for soul of GOP”
Unfortunately, it turns out the GOP doesn’t really have a soul, so the “fight” is more or less moot:
Big business and the Tea Party are at swords’ points once again, with GOP Senate primaries for the second straight election becoming proxy battles in the war over the soul of the Republican Party.
Conservative insurgents pose serious threats this year to establishment Republicans in at least three open-seat Senate races. In every case, political action committees and lobbyists have hugely favored the establishment pick with contributions. One reason: The GOP establishment rallies industry donors behind the Republican seen as stronger in November. A deeper reason: The revolving-door clique of K Street and Capitol Hill operatives needs Republicans elected to upper chamber who are likely to play ball.
“We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples,” former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said last election cycle. “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.” Lott is now a millionaire corporate lobbyist whose clients include bailout beneficiaries like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, subsidy sucklers like General Electric and for-profit colleges and government contractors like Raytheon. He likes Republicans who don’t take their limited-government talk so darn seriously — team players who won’t rock the boat, in part because they are eying K Street jobs after retirement.
Where does South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint fit in? His Senate Conservatives Fund in 2010 helped insurgent conservatives beat establishment Republicans in Florida, Kentucky, Nevada, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Also bringing money to the Tea Party wing is the Club for Growth, which figured in all those races and also helped overthrow notorious Utah porker Sen. Bob Bennett in favor of conservative stalwart Mike Lee. Lee, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul aren’t exactly “disciples” of DeMint, but they are decidedly not the products of K Street.
Trent Lott vs. Jim DeMint. K Street vs. the Tea Party. The Chamber of Commerce vs. the Club for Growth. The battle lines are the same this year.
In Texas, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has raised $364,310 from PACs, according to his latest filing — more than five times the PAC haul by conservative insurgent Ted Cruz. Dewhurst donors include lobbying firms like K&L Gates and Greenberg Traurig, government contractors like Halliburton, Obamacare supporters like Pfizer, cap-and-trade supporters like Chesapeake Energy and bailout beneficiaries like Citigroup.
In Nebraska, the GOP establishment, K Street, and business PACs are backing Attorney General Jon Bruning, while DeMint and the Club for Growth are behind State Treasurer Don Stenberg. Bruning leads Stenberg in PAC donations $221,000 to $26,000 — more than 8-to-1. Bruning’s PAC backers include Citigroup, Pfizer, ethanol giant POET, K St. lobbying firm McGuireWoods, and tobacco-regulation champion Altria.
Much of the Left and the media may see no difference between libertarians and Tea Partiers on one hand, and K Street and the business lobby on the other. But the revolving-door players know the difference, and they’re willing to spend big to put their people in power.
You know what? Screw it. Let the Trent Lotts and the John McCains and the Mitch McConnells — and the big business interests they represent — have the damn thing.
We’re never going to remove the entrenched GOP leadership class intent on bullying and breaking conservatives. They have too much money and too much power and organization. And it should be clear by now that they are more willing to fight conservatives than to take on progressives — largely because they share the same big government sentiments as their putative political enemies, and because they have an equal interest in a liberal fascist state whereby politicians and big business collude to their mutual financial benefit.
As I’ve been saying for quite some time now, it is not Democrats vs GOP. It is the entrenched ruling class vs the rest of us — and to that class, Party affiliation is largely only a matter of preferential seating arrangements around the trough.
The establishment GOP is feckless and, in an important ideological sense, corrupt to its core. It’s time it went the way of the Whigs.
The progressives, because they are more committed to the ideology of fascism, will ultimately sink this country. The modern GOP establishment, for its part, will watch and try to profit around the edges until the last bit of graft gets gobbled up by the cynical scavengers who mouth conservative platitudes while working diligently to push a ruling class agenda.
Me, I’m preparing for the rebuild. The best part of which will be when I find Trent Lott, bitch slap him, and take back a good bit of our stuff.
(thanks to Ernst)